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Roger Moore (1927)

Roger George Moore

Type :  

  Summary  

Sir Roger George Moore KBE , is an English actor, perhaps best known for portraying British secret agent James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985. He also portrayed Simon Templar in the long-running British television series The Saint.

  Biography  

 early life
Moore was born in Stockwell, London. The only child of George Alfred Moore, a policeman, and Lillian "Lily" (née Pope), a housewife, he attended Battersea Grammar School, but was evacuated to Holsworthy, Devon during World War II and was then educated at Dr Challoner's Grammar School. He then attended the College of the Venerable Bede at the University of Durham but never graduated. At 18 years old, shortly after the end of the war, Moore was conscripted for national service. He was commissioned as an officer and eventually became a Captain. Moore served in the Royal Army Service Corps, commanding a small depot in West Germany. He later transferred to the entertainment branch , and immediately prior to his national service, there was a brief stint at RADA , during which his fees were paid by film director Brian Desmond Hurst, who also used Moore as an extra in his film Trottie True. Moore was a classmate at RADA with his future Bond colleague Lois Maxwell, the original Miss Moneypenny. The young Moore first appeared in films during the mid to late-1940s, as an extra. Moore's film idol as a child was Stewart Granger. As a 17-year-old, Moore appeared as an extra in the film Caesar and Cleopatra , finally meeting his idol on the set. Moore later worked with Granger in The Wild Geese.

 career
 Early work (1945–1959)

In the early 1950s, Moore worked as a male model, appearing in print advertisements for knitwear (earning him the amusing nickname "The Big Knit"), and a wide range of other products such as toothpaste– an element that many critics have used as typifying his lightweight credentials as an actor. His earliest known television appearance was on 27 May 1950, in Drawing Room Detective, a one-off programme. Presented by veteran BBC announcer Leslie Mitchell, it invited viewers at home to spot clues to a crime during a playlet, whose actors also included Alec Ross and Michael Ripper.

Although Moore won a contract with MGM in the 1950s, the films which followed were not a success and, in his own words, "At MGM, RGM was NBG ." His starring role in The Miracle, a version of the play Das Mirakel for Warner Bros., had been turned down by Dirk Bogarde.

Eventually, it was television in which Moore made his name. He was the eponymous hero in the serial Ivanhoe, a very loose adaptation of the romantic novel by Sir Walter Scott, and he also appeared in the series The Alaskans, as well as playing Beau Maverick, an English-accented cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick and Bart Maverick in Maverick.

 The Saint (1960–1970)
Worldwide fame arrived after Lew Grade cast Moore as Simon Templar in a new adaptation of The Saint, based on the novels by Leslie Charteris. Moore said in an interview, during 1963, that he wanted to buy the rights of Leslie Charteris's character and the trademarks. He also joked that the role was supposed to have been meant for Sean Connery who was unavailable. The television series was made in the UK with an eye on the American market, and its success there made Moore a household name – and in spring 1967 he eventually had reached the level of an international top star. It also established his suave, quipping style which he would carry forward to James Bond. Moore would also go on to direct several episodes of the later series, which moved into colour in 1967.

The Saint ran from 1962 for six series and 118 episodes, making it the longest-running series of its kind on British television. However, Moore grew increasingly tired of the role, and was keen to branch out. He made two films immediately after the series had ended: Crossplot, a lightweight 'spy caper' movie, and the more challenging The Man Who Haunted Himself . Directed by Basil Dearden, it gave Moore the opportunity to demonstrate a wider versatility than the role of Simon Templar had allowed, although reviews at the time were lukewarm, and both did little business at the box office. Despite the initial reviews, The Man Who Haunted Himself is now considered a very underrated film, and the role is considered one of Moore's finest performances among his fans.

 The Persuaders (1971–1972)

Television lured Moore back to star, alongside Tony Curtis, in what has become another cult series, The Persuaders! It featured the adventures of two millionaire playboys across Europe. It was for this series that Moore was paid the then unheard-of sum of £1 million for a single series, making him the highest paid television actor in the world. However, Lew Grade claimed in his autobiography Still Dancing, that Moore and Curtis "didn't hit it off all that well". Curtis refused to spend more time on set than was strictly necessary, while Moore was always willing to work overtime.

According to the DVD commentary, neither Roger Moore, an uncredited co-producer, nor Robert S. Baker, the credited producer, ever had a contract other than a handshake with Lew Grade. They produced the entire 24 episodes without a single written word guaranteeing that they would ever be paid.

The series failed in America, where it had been pre-sold to ABC, but it was successful in Australia and in Europe. In Germany, where the series was aired under the name Die Zwei, it became a hit through a special funny dubbing that only barely used the original translations of the dialogues. And in Britain it was also popular, although on its premiere on the ITV network, it was beaten in the ratings by repeats of Monty Python's Flying Circus on BBC1. When Channel 4 repeated both The Avengers and The Persuaders! in 1995, it was generally agreed that the latter, which had not been seen for many years, had not aged as well as the former. It has not been seen on any of the five main UK terrestrial channels since.

Since then, The Persuaders! has enjoyed something of a renaissance both on television and DVD, with the 'rivals' Moore and Curtis reuniting to provide commentaries on the most recent issues. In France, where the series (entitled Amicalement Vôtre) had always been popular, the DVD releases accompanied a monthly magazine of the same name.

 James Bond (1973–1985)
Because of his successful TV shows, in particular the long-lasting series The Saint, Roger Moore was unavailable for the James Bond franchise for a considerable time. His participation in The Saint was not only as actor, but also as a producer and director, and he also became involved in developing the series The Persuaders! As Roger Moore frankly explains in his autobiography My Word Is My Bond on page 172, he had neither been approached to play James Bond in Dr. No, nor had he felt that he had been considered. It was only after Sean Connery had declared that he would not play Bond any longer that Moore became aware that he might be a contender for the role. But after George Lazenby was cast instead and then Sean Connery played Bond again, he didn't consider the possibility until it seemed abundantly clear that Connery had in fact stepped down as Bond for good. At that point he was indeed approached and accepted the producer's offer in August 1972. Moore says in his autobiography he had to cut his hair and to lose weight, but although he resented that, he was finally cast as James Bond in Live and Let Die .

Moore played Bond in Live and Let Die ; The Man with the Golden Gun ; The Spy Who Loved Me ; Moonraker ; For Your Eyes Only ; Octopussy ; and A View to a Kill .

Moore is the longest-serving James Bond actor, having spent twelve years in the role , and having made seven official films in a row. He is also the oldest actor to play Bond: he was 45 when he started, and 58 when he announced his retirement on 3 December 1985.

James Bond was different during this era because times had changed and the scripts were different. Authors like George MacDonald Fraser provided scenarios in which 007 was a kind of seasoned, debonair playboy who would always have a trick or gadget in stock when he needed it. This was supposed to serve the contemporary taste and Roger Moore made it work.

In 2004, Moore was voted 'Best Bond' in an Academy Awards poll and won with a large 62% of votes whilst in late 2008.

During Moore's Bond period he starred in 13 other films, including the thriller Gold and unorthodox action film The Wild Geese, and even made a cameo as Chief Inspector Clouseau, posing as a famous movie star, in Curse of the Pink Panther (for which he was credited as "Turk Thrust II"). However, most of these films were not critically acclaimed. Moore was widely criticised by anti-apartheid campaigners for making three movies in South Africa under the Apartheid regime during the 1970s.

 Post-James Bond career (1985–present)

His post-Bond acting career has been light, though most of his career post-Bond has been devoted to UNICEF. In the words of his friend Michael Caine, with whom he co-starred in the unsuccessful Bullseye! , "Now he can't get a job." At the age of 74, Moore was given the chance to go against type with his portrayal of a flamboyant homosexual in Boat Trip .

The satirical British TV show Spitting Image once had a sketch in which their latex likeness of Moore, when asked to display emotions by an offscreen director, does nothing but raise an eyebrow. Moore himself has stated that he thought the sketch was funny, and took it in good humour. Indeed, he had always embraced the 'eyebrows' gag wholeheartedly, slyly claiming that he "only had three expressions as Bond: right eyebrow raised, left eyebrow raised and eyebrows crossed when grabbed by Jaws." Spitting Image continued the joke, featuring a Bond movie spoof, The Man with the Wooden Delivery, with Moore's puppet receiving orders from Margaret Thatcher to kill Mikhail Gorbachev, and many other comedy shows of that time ridiculed Moore's acting, Rory Bremner once claiming to have had a death threat from an irate fan of Moore's, following one such routine.

Moore confirmed he has completely retired from acting in an article for The Sunday Telegraph magazine in April 2009. In a commercial for London's 2012 Olympic bid, Moore once again suited up as James Bond. He appeared alongside Samantha Bond, who played Miss Moneypenny in the Bond films during the Pierce Brosnan era. He still appears regularly on chat shows, chiefly to promote the work of UNICEF.

In 2009, Moore appeared in an advert for the Post Office.

He also played the role of a secret agent in the Victoria Wood Christmas Special on BBC1 show over the festive period in 2009. Filming all his scenes in the London Eye, his mission was to eliminate another agent whose file photo looks just like Pierce Brosnan.

In May 2010 the MultiMediaFund was launched . The Advisory Board of the fund is chaired by Sir Roger Moore KBE.

Moore is also chairman of the Advisory Board of .

 personal life
Moore left his first wife, skater Doorn Van Steyn, for singer Dorothy Squires, who was 12 years his senior and was, at that time, considerably more famous than he was, and they lived together for a short time in Dafen, Llanelli, South Wales. In turn, while filming in Italy in 1961, he abandoned Squires for Italian actress Luisa Mattioli. He lived with Mattioli until their marriage in 1969, after Squires finally granted Moore a divorce. Moore has a daughter and two sons with Mattioli. Moore unexpectedly ended this marriage in 1993, later marrying former Côte d'Azur neighbour, the Danish-Swedish multi-millionaire Kristina 'Kiki' Tholstrup.

Moore's daughter Deborah Moore played Chief Inspector Hannah Bernstein in two films based on the Sean Dillon novels of Jack Higgins, and later made a guest appearance as a flight attendant in Die Another Day. Elder son Geoffrey Moore is an actor and used to own a restaurant in London; he also co-starred in his father's movie Sherlock Holmes in New York . Younger son Christian Moore is a film producer.

For a period after early success in The Saint, Moore lived in Royal Tunbridge Wells and then moved to Surrey before relocating to Hollywood. In the 1960s he lived at Gordon Avenue, Stanmore within reach of the Elstree Studios and in the 1970s in Denham, close to Pinewood. During filming of The Spy Who Loved Me, "villain" Curt Jürgens made the offer to Moore to spend some time at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland, which Moore enjoyed having taken up skiing. When he married Kiki Tholstrup, he set up a routine of spending winters in Crans-Montana, Valais and summers at his apartment in Monaco. After 15 years in Gstaad, he now resides in the winter at his chalet in Crans-Montana, Valais.

Moore is a supporter of the Conservative Party as he publicly endorsed the party during the 2001 general election campaign. In 2011, Moore gave his support to Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and his policies on the European Union, claiming: "I think he's doing absolutely wonderfully well, despite the opposition from many members of his own party. Traitors, I call them. I mean any hardliner within the Conservative Party who speaks out against their leader. You should support your leader."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Roger Moore", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.